Over 20 police officers were wounded overnight in south London after attempts to break up a street party caused violent clashes which were widely condemned. Videos of the incident posted on social media showed police cars being destroyed and officers being charged with a large crowd during skirmishes near the Angell Town estate in Brixton.

The Metropolitan Police said 22 officers had been injured, including two needing treatment in hospital. Many police cars have been destroyed.
One clip showed bottles being thrown at police as they were being pursued out of the region while a partygoer could be seen bleeding from the face in another.

On Wednesday night, police were called to the scene after reports of a “large unlicensed music event” in Overton Road. When police tried to encourage the crowd to leave, the Met said a group became hostile towards officers.

Brixton: The home secretary, Priti Patel, described the clashes as “utterly vile scenes” and said she would speak to Dame Cressida Dick, the Met police commissioner.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, tweeted that “violence against the police will not be tolerated”. He added: “Large gatherings during #COVID19 are deeply irresponsible and risk others’ lives.”

Four people are in supervision after arrests were made for attack and public order violations.

Police commander Colin Wingrove said: “Our role is to protect the public and ensure guidelines are adhered to in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19, protecting the NHS and save lives.

“Our officers work incredibly hard to engage and explain the public health message and regulations to prevent such gatherings occurring. Last night we received numerous concerns from residents complaining about a large gathering, noise, anti-social behaviour and violence and officers responded to those concerns.

“These gatherings are unlawful, as well as posing a risk to public health and against coronavirus restrictions. The violence shown towards officers is totally unacceptable and we will not tolerate it in any form.”

He said there was an investigation going on.

Police said that the party had finally been cleared in the early hours of Thursday, while a section 60 order was later enforced in the area, which gives police force to control and search without reasonable suspicion.

Brixton: Patel tweeted: “These are utterly vile scenes. Just last weekend, the whole country came together to praise our heroic police officers for putting their own lives on the line to keep us safe.

“I’ll be picking up with the Met commissioner immediately.”

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